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Members of the Private Sector/Civil Society Group (PSCSG) say they are “deeply disturbed” by the non-operationalisation of the substantive provisions of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Property Act 1 of 2015.

Yesterday, a joint release signed by president of the Joint Consultative Council for the Construction Industry, the president of the American Chamber of Commerce, the president of the T&T Manufacturers Association, the president of the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the chairman of the Transparency Institute, the president of the Federated Independent Trade Unions and NGOs and the president of the Coalition of Services Industries stated that it was “unacceptable that the Act had reached “its current state of functional non-implementation from its conception, spanning three different administrations of Government.”

The group lamented that the “level of progress achieved in implementing this Act is intolerable, particularly after repeated commitments by this administration to have the Act fully implemented prior to and since coming into government.”

The PSCSG said it “stands firm,” that there should be no amendment(s) to section 7(2) of Act 1 of 2015 with respect to Public Private Partnerships and government to government transactions, saying this was “non-negotiable”, it added, “This was a critical issue in the 2014/2015 Parliament that debated the then Bill and remains so now in the architecture of the Act.”

The group is also standing firm that sections of the Act which do not require proclamation of the regulations should no longer be delayed, but should be proclaimed.

They listed several sections which can be implemented without the proclamation of the regulations.

These include Section 14 (10 which makes provision for the procurement regulator to monitor the procurement of goods, works and services, and the disposal of public property, by public bodies to ensure compliance with this Act; (b) conduct audits and periodic inspections of public bodies to ensure compliance with this Act; (c) issue directions to public bodies to ensure compliance with this Act; and (d) carry out such other activities and do such other acts as it considers necessary or expedient for the carrying out its functions.

And Section 24 which speaks to the regulator submitting reports annually to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the president of the Senate and the Minister.

That section makes provision for a figure representing the total value of contracts as awarded by public bodies, and another figure representing the cost of the total value of procurement contract variances for that year; (b) the number of unfulfilled contracts awarded by public bodies in respect of procurement; (c) a summary of transactions in respect of each public body specifying in respect of public procurement— the number of procurement contracts awarded; the number of procurement contracts varied; and the quantum of those variances;

The group said “the implementation of the Act should structure the role of the Parliament as the avenue for disclosure and discourse on the further implementation of the Act.